“Soda breads: Bread, by definition, is a baked product made with dough that has been raised by yeast or other gas-forming (leavening) agents. Soda breads, introduced here, are among those breads not leavened by yeast. They belong to the category of Quick Breads, so named because their dough is not made with yeast, and therefore does not require additional time to rise before baking.
The ingredients baking powder, baking soda, and buttermilk, leaven soda breads and give them a biscuit-like texture. Because they are without yeast, they do not rise as much as yeast breads. However, they are equally delicious and much easier to prepare. Many sweet and savory varieties can be made from a basic recipe, and the three breads which follow, Sweet Soda Bread, Cheese Soda Bread and Onion Soda Bread are excellent examples.
Sweet Soda Bread is given its mildly sweet flavor with a small amount of sugar and 1 ½ cups of seedless raisins. This quick and easy recipe, which requires only 2 to 3 minutes of kneading, makes two loaves, delicious when sliced and buttered.
The recipes for Cheese Soda Bread and Onion Soda Bread are simple variations of Sweet Soda Bread. The sugar and raisins have been omitted, and savory cheese and onions added. These breads are a flavorful attraction at any meal.”—The Creative Cooking Course (1982)
BIG LIFE: I buttered a slice not five minutes out of the oven. I try to not cuss too much here– although I do a lot in real life. So you will pardon me when I say that this bread is one damned fine bread.
Aside: The crosses I cut were too deep. You only need to go about 1/2″ deep.
CREATIVE COOKING SWEET SODA BREAD AND CHEESE AND ONION VARIATIONS
Makes about 20 servings
4 C sifted flour, maybe more
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
½ stick butter, softened
¼ C sugar
1 ½ C raisins
1 egg, beaten well
1 ¾ C buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375o. Sift together 4 C flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda, cut in butter using 2 knives or a pastry blender “until mixture is of a fine crumb consistency,” add sugar and raisins, and mix well. Combine egg and buttermilk, add to dry mixture, and stir with a spoon, adding more flour if needed to make a soft dough. Turn out dough onto a floured surface, and knead 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth. Divide dough into half, shape each half into a round loaf, and place loaves on a large baking sheet. Cut a deep cross in the top of each loaf using a sharp knife. Bake 40 to 45 minutes.
CHEESE SODA BREAD
Prepare recipe for Sweet Soda Bread dough, omitting sugar and raisins and adding 2 C grated sharp Cheddar cheese. Follow recipe instructions above for mixing, shaping, and baking loaves.
ONION SODA BREAD
Prepare recipe for Sweet Soda Bread dough, omitting sugar and raisins and adding 1 ½ C chopped onions. Follow recipe above for mixing and shaping loaves. Sauté 3 thin slices onion in about 2 Tbsp vegetable oil just until tender but not browned, drain on absorbent toweling, separate onion slices into rings, and arrange on top of loaves. Follow instructions above for baking loaves.